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Lot # 896 (of 1866)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1931 Hartford Senators Team-Signed Ball with Grover Alexander (Playing for the House of David)

Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $2,015

Offered here is one of the most interesting team-signed minor-league balls we have ever handled because in addition to being signed by the Eastern League's Hartford team, it has also been signed by Hall of Fame pitcher Grover Alexander as a member of the famed House of David baseball team. The red-and-blue stitched ball (manufacturer's stampings faded beyond legibility) has been signed in blue fountain pen by fifteen members of the 1931 Hartford Senators, champions of the Eastern League, plus "G C. Alexander" (grading "7"), with the notation "House of David" written above his name. The notation "1931 Champions" is also written in blue fountain pen on the same panel as the Alexander signature.

According to our consignor, this ball originates from the collection of William Chotiner of West Hartford, Connecticut. Chotiner was a prominent local businessman who was closely affiliated with Hartford's minor-league team beginning in the 1920s. He also owned "Kahn's Kings," a fast-pitch softball team for which he both played and managed until the age of 61 and then continued to manage for many more years. Mr. Chotiner was a fixture for decades at the Bulkeley Stadium in Hartford and later served as an Eastern League executive. During his many years in baseball, he was able to assemble a remarkable collection of autographed baseballs, which included both this ball and the 1928-1929 Braves ball in this auction.

After Hartford won the Eastern League Championship in 1931, they challenged the House of David baseball team to a game in Hartford, which the House of David readily accepted. Grover Alexander managed and pitched for the House of David team up until 1938, and was one of the top draws for the club during that period. This ball was personally obtained by Chotiner after the game between the two clubs. In addition to Alexander, the ball also features the signatures of fifteen members of the Hartford Senators, ten of whom later played in the major leagues: Paul Richards, Alta Cohen, Nelson Greene, Max Rosenfeld, Bob Reis, Phil Gallivan, Earl Mattingly, Van Mungo, Art Jones, and Johnny Mann. Signatures range from "6" to "8," averaging "7." The ball displays moderate soiling, including a few minor abrasions (not affecting the Alexander signature), that is consistent with its possibly having been a game-used ball from the contest. In Very Good condition overall. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000. SOLD FOR $2,015

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